A bell began to ring. The afternoon sun had been over our shoulders, warming the brownish-pink facade of the Cathedral, but now it dipped behind the rooftops, and just as the crowded square became cool and dark, the bell began to ring. With a clatter of wings, frightened pigeons exploded out of the belfry, and from the tower of St. Peter's, from the graveyard beyond, and from the battlements of the Festung Hohensalzburg, high above our heads, the same voice called, "Jedermann! Jedermann!"

On the stage in front of the Cathedral doors a banquet table with blazing candelabra; actors in renaissance costumes, feasting. Only their host, Everyman or Jedermann, can hear the bell and the voice calling his name; the others -his twenty guests, his mistress, his servants and retainers- continue eating and drinking, laughing and singing: Floret Silva Undique -the girls entwined about the men. Suddenly a hooded skeleton is standing behind Jedermann's chair. . .

The Domplatz was silent. This was the climactic moment of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's morality play, the famous fixture of every Salzburg Festival. Silent faces: camera-hung tourists, packed into the wooden bleachers, priests and seminarians at the windows of St. Peter's, policemen and bus drivers behind the barricaded archways, the fifteenth century trumpeters atop the bridge between the Cathedral and the Residenz . . . my eyes moved left, to the Residenz itself, to Major French's windows.

"Think about me sometimes," he had said.

"What did the Countess say about her guests?" he had asked that time, and now one of the guests sat beside me on the hard wooden bench, leaning forward, apparently following Hofmannsthal's German rhymes as Jedermann begs Death for time, for just an hour to find a companion for the last journey.


Why did Fleischer want to sit here, jammed among German tourists, watching this parable about the rich man who learns that only your good deeds will come to the grave with you? Was his appearance at the Schloss a coincidence, or had he come after me? He was totally different from what I had imagined; quiet and extremely polite, almost shy, traveling without a retinue, entirely alone. He was staying at the Bristol, and had been invited to the Schloss by one of the Academy's directors in New York. Of course they wanted money from him. I knew that without his lawyers as insulation between us, I should not talk to him; and yet he had sought me out, invited me to show him the town, invited me to see Jedermann with him . . . not a word about Boatwright, not a word about the savage proxy fight, not a word about the Warfield acquisition, not a word about his lawsuit. He wanted to see the town. We walked in the Mirabell Gardens behind his hotel, among the fountains and statues, the flower beds and arbors and hedges, the grotesque stone dwarfs in the raised Bastionsgarten across the street from the Villa Redl. We walked along the river front. We sat on the terrace of the Cafe Bazar, ate Linzer Torte, drank Kaffee Komplett. He asked questions: about Salzburg, about the Academy; should he contribute money? He knew a good deal about Mozart  Had I seen any operas? Would I like to go to the opera? Could his concierge still get us tickets?

I liked him. Perhaps I was flattered that he was making such an effort with me, or perhaps it was the contrast between Fleischer the name, the faceless monster lurking in New York, crouched in ambush, waiting to capture Boatwright's carcass so that he could suck all the money out . . . and Fleischer this polite little parrot, drinking coffee, walking beside me, asking me questions.

Jedermann discovers the limits of easy friendship. No one will go with him -not even his beautiful mistress. In desperation he tries to bring along his treasure chest, but at the sight of Death his servants drop the chest and run away. Mammon climbs out of the chest -fat naked, ugly, covered with gold paint dripping gold coins . . . I glanced at Boris Fleischer: why did he want to see this? Mammon won't make the journey either; on the contrary, in a bleating eunuch's voice, Mammon taunts Jedermann: You worshiped me, I am all you had; without me you must leave the world as naked as you came! An old woman appears, on crutches, the personification of Jedermann's few Good Works. She agrees to go with him. Then beside one of the huge statues at the Cathedral door, we see Faith, a tall woman in a blue robe. All his life, Jedermann has rejected Faith but now that he needs her, she is ready to help him. She comforts him and tells him about God's special love and care for sinners. Jedermann falls to his knees, ready to repent and ask forgiveness. Organ music fills the square, Good Works and Faith lead Jedermann into the Cathedral for his final sacrament . . . and somehow, for a little while, watching the play, watching Jedermann's terror in the face of Death, the terror of his friends and servants -I lost myself. I forgot about Boatwright, I forgot about Ellsworth Boyle and Boris Fleischer and Freddie Minto and Logan Brockaw and Dr. Pressburger; I forgot about the things that were corroding me above and below the level of consciousness.

I became part of the old square, the walls and windows of the Residenz and the Cathedral and St. Peter's, the archways leading into the other squares, the marble statues which had looked down for so many years -looked down on Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and Salome Alt and Markus Sitticus Graf Hohenems and Paris Graf Lodron and Guidobald Graf Thun and Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and Prince Eugene of Savoy and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the Marshals Ney and Bernadotte and Franz Schubert and Ferdinand Raimund and Felix Mendelssohn and Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Richard Strauss and Max Reinhardt and Gustaf Anders and Carl Zuckmayer and Stefan Zweig and Arturo Toscanini and Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini and George S. Patton, Jr., and Wendell F. Slattery, Jr., and Joseph H. Pinckney, Jr., and Nella Paulsen and Hans-Joachim Freiherr von Schaumburg and Marcus Gompertz and Boswell Hyde and Milena Hashek and Peter Devereaux and me -and the silent crowd completely absorbed in the play, each person asking himself: When the moment comes, how will I behave? What have I ever done? Who will walk to the grave with me?

The Devil is on the platform now, prancing about, screaming, asserting a prior lien on Jedermann's soul, debating furiously with the cool unshakable Faith, screaming frustration, then gone again, Jedermann. reappears, dressed in a white shroud, carrying a pilgrim's staff, his face ashen, his soul transfigured by the sacrament he has received. Comforted by Good Works and Faith, he climbs down into his grave. The last rays of the sun touch the spires of the Cathedral and music swells out of the open doors. The play is over.

A collective sigh, a rattle of applause, and the parade of bowing actors. Fleischer and I looked at each other.

"Well," he said standing up. "So that is Jedermann. Have you time for dinner with me?"

"Yes, of course."

"I like to walk a little. Can we eat up there?" He pointed to the fortress.

"Yes, there's a little restaurant up there. Wouldn't you rather go to Winkler's, back there behind us?"

"No,rather on the Festung, I think."

We were swept along with the crowd, through the arches into the Kapitelplatz, where a dozen excursion buses were starting their diesels and loading passengers. I guided him to the cablecar station, but he insisted that he wanted to walk all the way up, so we climbed slowly through the darkening cobblestone streets, past the StiegIbräu, where band music came out of the windows, almost as far as the Nonnberg convent, then back again the other way, going up past picket fences and vegetable gardens, level now with the roof of the Cathedral, walking alone, in silence, in step, following the path and the stairs beneath the battlements, walking in the silent gloom under huge ancient trees.

"Do you think he believed it?" asked Fleischer suddenly.

'Who? Believed what?"

"Hofmannsthal . . . all this business about repenting your sins at the last minute and getting into Heaven, with the organ playing--"

"Well, he was a Catholic, I suppose he believed it in a general way, but remember most of all he was an artist, a very great artist, he was writing folk theatre here, baroque folk theatre, he was writing a morality play, with simple concepts, the kind of play that would have been performed in the villages around here, I think he wanted something that would fit right into that square down there four hundred years ago. just as in Rosenkavalier he did a Mozart opera. . . ."

I found it easy to talk to Fleischer. He seemed interested in what I had to say, and he knew how to listen. Twenty minutes later we had reached the outer ramparts of the fortress, the little restaurant where one sits outdoors with a view across the city. It was almost dark now, the sun had disappeared behind the Bavarian forests, the churches and palaces below us were illuminated with floodlights. We ate a simple supper and then we strolled around the castle. Again, I was the guide. The museums and the state apartments were closed, but I showed him the church and the courtyards and told him what I knew about the history of the place. Eventually we found ourselves, alone, on the southern parapet. Beneath us lay the darkened fields, the flat suburban villages, the cluster of trees and among them the pale box -Schloss Fyrmian beside its pond- and beyond the lake, miles away beyond the flatlands, the black cone of the Untersberg.

We stood there and looked at it.

"You think perhaps I feel like Jedermann?" asked Fleischer abruptly. "You think perhaps I came here to make a good deed, so that somebody will come with me and help me into my grave--"

"No, that's not what I was thinking, Mr. Fleischer."

"Because unfortunately I don't find things so simple--"

"But I was wondering why you came back here -why you would feel comfortable with all those people, a lot of them were Nazis--"

Fleischer shrugged. "Perhaps I never feel very comfortable, with any people. I tell you, I find that people are not so different, wherever they live. I think Mr. Malcolm Hopkins would be glad to put me in a concentration camp, eh? Or Mr. Ellsworth Boyle?"

Well, here we are, I thought. Finally.

"That's being a little harsh on them," I said. "You can't really blame them for trying to defend themselves."

Fleischer shrugged again.

"What made you think that I would be any different?" I asked.

"Hah! I never thought you would be any different. You think I came to Salzburg to talk to you? No, you can believe me. I was tired. I wanted to be alone, to think, perhaps to listen to music. I was in Madrid, in Paris. They sent me brochures about the Academy, pictures of that Schloss, and of course I remembered. I thought, 'Can this be the same place?-" He gestured toward the Schloss, toward the mountains. "I did not say anything, but I thought, Well, after all, do I owe something to this place? Why not? Nothing to do with you at all. And then this crazy performance, and you came running out there in Lederhosen, dancing with that fat man, and the lady. the director's wife, what is her name?"

" Nora ]Rasmussen."

"Yes, Mrs. Rasmussen, she was laughing so hard, she said to me, 'Can you believe that is two Philadelphia lawyers?' And she told me your name, and then I remembered you . . .  that night . . . Well, I tell you something."

He paused and put his hands on the cold stone wall and looked toward the mountains. "I tell you something. You know I am not a Catholic, I don't believe in miracles or repenting of sins or things like that, but this . . . that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason." He turned to look at me. "You think perhaps there is a reason?"


"You ask how do I know you are different? I know you are different because you could have put me into a camp that night, you were supposed to do it, but you didn't--"

"You got to Israel?"

"To Palestine, there was no Israel yet. Yes, not all of us, but I did get there. Eight months later."

"But then you didn't like it after all?"

Fleischer sighed. "Not really a question of liking something. It was . . . it was not for me the right place." He realized that was not enough. "Look, they have built themselves a new Sparta there." He sounded almost angry. "You understand Sparta? I am not a Spartan, that's not my talent. I'm a businessman. I know about business, about money. That is my talent. Like Jedermann down there, with his gold."

"What do you do with your gold?'>

"What do you mean?"

"Do you have a family?"


"None at all?"


What happened? I wanted to ask. But didn't. "What do you do?"

"What do I do? I work."

"You can't work all the time."

"Almost all the time. Also I read, and I listen to music. I have over two thousand phonograph records. I like to listen to music. But most of the time I work with my reports, and my accountants, and my lawyers -oh, always lawyers, you cannot live without lawyers, can you?"

We came down from the fortress in the cable car, amidst shouting beer-soaked American college boys. I had left my car on the other side of the river, in front of Fleischer's hotel, so we walked around the back of the Cathedral, past the post office -where Eduard Onderdonk announced that he hadn't come to Salzburg to drink beer with German officers- and by the splashing floodlit fountain in the Residenzplatz we climbed into one of the waiting Fiakers. We settled back in the seat, the driver made a clucking sound with his tongue, and the horse set off in a gentle trot.

We said no more about Boatwright. Fleischer asked questions about the Academy. I tried to answer them and then, listening to the peaceful clipclop of the horse hoofs on the pavement, I was telling him how I had first shown the Schloss to Peter Devereaux, how it had been that summer, how Peter had worked and scrounged and organized and dreamed. . . . "Well, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to run off at the mouth like that!"

He was slouched back into the corner, looking at me. "You are quite a lot different than I expected, Mr. Anders."

"So are you, Mr. Fleischer."

We had crossed the river on the Staatsbrücke, turned left, and now we were entering the Makartplatz: Fischer von Erlach's little Dreifaltigkeitskirche, the Landestheater, the Hotel Bristol, and in the middle a parking lot containing my Volkswagen.

We climbed out and he insisted on paying the driver.

"Thanks very much for the play and the dinner," I said.

"Thank you for the tour. Will I see you at the reception?"


"Mrs. Rasmussen has invited me to a reception at the Schloss, tomorrow evening -for the local officials, she said, and some artists from the Festival."

"Oh yes, I think they did say something- Sure, I guess I'll be there. Good night, and thanks again."

We shook hands quite formally, and then I drove away.

I drove across the river and back through the old town again, through the Neutor tunnel and out to the lake. I drove fast because it was late and I still had to read my cases for the next day. The little motor roared, the poplars flashed by, the cool night air blew in my face. Why had I talked so much? And to Fleischer of all people. . . .

I came to the stone angels and swung the car between them. My headlights turned into the park, sweeping from right to left, and far ahead, beyond the parking lot, beyond the Schloss, at the very end of the garden where the stone goddess reclines beside the lake, I glimpsed two figures ducking into the shrubbery. Two men. Two men? What's this place coming to? I thought, whipping along the driveway, through the porte cochere and into a place on the grassy parking field. It was not until I had extinguished my lights and turned off the ignition that I realized what I had seen.

previous chapter, next chapter



1961 - A Point of View
[1] The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Boatwright Corporation
[2] What are you going to do about Boatwright and what are you going to do about yourself?
[3] Have we learned anything this evening, Doctor?
[4] Producing results?
[5] Alexander's Feast
[6] How'd you like to go over to Salzburg for a month with me?

1947 - An Island
[7] You're not going to Berlin. You're staying here.
[8] All right, we're the Military Government.
[9] The Americans are teaching us to be democratic instead of fascistic.
[10] Well, this is Fasching.
[11] Letters after Ash Wednesday
[12] Say Boris is at Schloss Fyrmian.
[13] THE AMERICAN ACADEMY IN EUROPE - Prospectus for the First Session
[14] Learn to think of people as individuals.
[15] Parlez-moi d'amour, redites-moi des choses tendres.
[16] Not one thing left to show that you've ever been on earth? - "Sources of Soviet Conduct"
[17] A Countess, a Prussian Officer and a Ländler
[18] Now this part of your life is over and I'm sending you home.
[19] A father who's too busy to watch his son die. - The Spring of 1961
[20] I cannot sell Schloss Fyrmian to the Academy.

1961 - A Change of Air
[21] The first thing I saw was the Festung Hohensalzburg far in the distance, silhouetted against the shadowy curtain of the high mountains.
[22] Next day at the Academy we got to work - Graham, you know what Fleischer did?
[23] Im weißen Rößl am Wolfgangsee
[24] Brockaw writing a thesis on Austrian baroque architecture? - Boatwright Corporation and Boris Fleischer, plaintiffs
[25] You know there a Mr. Devereaux? Mr. Armistead Devereaux?
[26] I think always of Peter Devereaux.
[27] It sounds like an act of desperation, and it won't hold up in court.
[28] In those Oklahoma Hills WHERE AH WAS BOW-AHHHN!
>[29] ... that we should meet again like this . . . I think perhaps there is a reason.
[30] "Is there here an American by name of Brockaw?"
[31] This is Boris Fleischer!
[32] "Does Hans work for Gehlen?" Paola shook her head. "More the other way around."
[33] Won't you please come home? Everybody needs you, I most of all.
[34] With this Waffenstillstand you have time now.
[35] You're going to regret this for the rest of your life!
[36] We Europeans would not do it. None of us. - People think you need medical attention.
[37] Will they trust you?
[38] Some things about the U.S.A. are perhaps rather important, and to us impressive.
[39] You're going to need a good lawyer.

version: March 2, 2004
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Arthur R.G. Solmssen, Joachim Gruber